18 Lessons I’ve Learned Training for the NYC Marathon

November 2, 2016

3 min read


My grueling workouts have shown me how to surpass my internal limitations.

"Congratulations! You have met the time qualifications for entry to the 2016 NYC marathon, and you are eligible now for guaranteed entry."

I was elated reading the email from New York Road Runners.

I immediately registered for the race, joining the competitive field of runners starting just behind the elite Olympians. But a moment later, I realized I was running without a team and without a plan. When I figured out the training plan that I would need in order to run at the pace of the wave that I was placed in, I wasn't sure that I could do it.

There were plenty of early mornings when my alarm went off, and I just didn't want to run. There were workouts so hard and so intense that I found myself doubled over, out of breath and nauseous by the end of them.

But these are the runs that I am bringing with me to the start line. These are the runs that have prepared me for the distance. And the most important lessons from my training are the ways I have learned to surpass the limits of my mind.

Here are 18 lessons I’ve learned training for the 2016 NYC marathon.

  1. Every goal begins with one step. The hardest step is always the first one.

  2. The toughest mile is always mile one.

  3. Embrace the valleys with the hills; they are both necessary for growth.

  4. God makes everything possible. Knowing He is in charge is what makes us unstoppable and removes obstacles from our paths.

  5. Pain shrinks when we run toward it; it's the fear of pain that blocks us.

  6. Every mile is a gift; gratitude is the most powerful antidote to despair.

  7. When we run out of fuel or hope, there is always a way to find more.

  8. The journey is what transforms us; the results will come with time.

  9. The harder we work for something the greater we will feel when we achieve it

  10. There's a real difference between interest and commitment. When we are interested in something, we do it when it's convenient. When we are committed to something, we do whatever it takes, whenever we need to.

  11. The best moments in life are not our most comfortable ones. It's often the times when we feel like we are falling apart but keep moving forward that we most treasure.

  12. We have time for the things we put first; everything is a choice.

  13. If we don't risk anything, we risk everything

  14. Successful people start before they know that they have what it takes; then they figure out a way to find what it takes.

  15. Everything we need is already inside of us

  16. The real race begins when we want to stop

  17. We can do anything but not everything

  18. It's not the goal or the race that is important; it's who we have become after we cross the finish line that really matters

Every finish line is a new beginning. We should cross it with our arms raised above our heads, thanking the One who prepares our footsteps and gives us the chance to reach for greatness.

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